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[ab-nawr-muh l] /æbˈnɔr məl/
not normal, average, typical, or usual; deviating from a standard:
abnormal powers of concentration; an abnormal amount of snow; abnormal behavior.
extremely or excessively large:
abnormal profit.
Origin of abnormal
1850-55; ab- + normal; replacing anormal < Medieval Latin anōrmālus, variant of anōmālus anomalous influenced by Latin norma norm
Related forms
abnormally, adverb
abnormalness, noun
superabnormal, adjective
superabnormally, adverb
Can be confused
abnormal, subnormal.
1. anomalous, aberrant, irregular, deviant, unnatural, odd. See irregular. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for abnormally
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She also saw that Dick was abnormally excited, and suspected that he had been drinking.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • Dilly was a very little woman, with abnormally long and sinewy arms.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • Not a gun will be in sight, and the battery will be abnormally light.

  • In 15.5% we find trochocephalous or abnormally round heads (index 91).

    Criminal Man Gina Lombroso-Ferrero
  • On board the Euphrates Wickham had been abnormally interested in Cressley.

    A Master of Mysteries L. T. Meade
  • Moreover the memory of the hypnotized is, as we saw, abnormally sharpened.

    Psychotherapy Hugo Mnsterberg
British Dictionary definitions for abnormally


not normal; deviating from the usual or typical; extraordinary
(informal) odd in behaviour or appearance; strange
Derived Forms
abnormally, adverb
Word Origin
C19: ab-1 + normal, replacing earlier anormal from Medieval Latin anormalus, a blend of Late Latin anōmalusanomalous + Latin abnormis departing from a rule
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abnormally



1835, displaced older abnormous (1742) and rival anormal (1835) under influence of Latin abnormis "deviating from a rule," from ab- "off, away from" (see ab-) + norma "rule" (see norm). The older forms were via Old French anormal (13c.), from Medieval Latin anormalos, from Greek anomalos, from an- "not" + homalos, from homos "same." The Greek word was altered in Latin by association with norma. Related: Abnormally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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